This paper presents a number of innovative hydrologic investigations undertaken for the recent
detailed design of upgrades for Ross River Dam in North Queensland. A key issue for estimating
extreme floods in the tropics is the estimation of flood events of long critical durations. The
implication is that there is an increased focus on estimating the correct volume (not only the peak
flow). This paper describes the regional analysis of flow volumes that was used to validate the
estimated flood volumes.
Another issue of considerable importance is the assumed relationship between inflows and initial
reservoir level. The analyses described in this paper showed that inflows are independent of reservoir levels for the more frequent events but for more extreme events they are correlated. This has important implication on how the initial reservoir level is incorporated in the hydrologic analysis. The final aspect covered by the paper is the derivation of seasonal flood frequency curves. This is particularly important given the highly seasonal nature of rainfalls in the tropics and the results are important for assessing risks during construction and scheduling the upgrade works.
SunWater has completed a portfolio risk assessment(PRA) on its 25 major dams and has identified a number of dams that do not currently satisfy the ANCOLD fallback position on spillway capacity. It has taken an initiative to target these dams for spillway upgrades to ultimately achieve the ANCOLD fallback standard and has prioritised these upgrades in a preliminary program for action in the short to medium term.
As background to this PRA, SunWater has developed and implemented a dam safety program which has successfully updated all necessary flood hydrology and dam break analyses and reassessed the consequences and hazards associated with dam failures. It has also completed within the last eight years, dam safety reviews on all its dams in preparation for a comprehensive risk assessment process which is now well in-hand. This process will identify and evaluate all other risks, in addition to floods,that should be addressed or at least considered in the planning and design of these spillway capacity upgrades.
This paper describes SunWater’s experience and approach to PRA and discusses the controlling factors considered in prioritisation. It shows the results and trends of a number of risk ranking methods, provides details of the current level of societal risks in respect of the ANCOLD tolerability limits and outlines SunWater’s current strategy for the timing and staging of spillway upgrades to achieve compliance and an optimum level of risk reduction.
José López1, Tim Griggs, Robert J. Montalvo, Richard Herweynen and Ernest Schrader
The Burnett Dam is a 50m high Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) Dam with a total RCC volume of
400,000 m3. It is located on the Burnett River, approximately 50km inland from the town of Childers
in Queensland, Australia. The design of the dam commenced in 2003, construction started in
November 2003 and the dam will be completed by the end of 2005.
This paper discusses the construction processes, the extensive quality control program and the
innovations developed for the RCC dam construction.
Key features of the project discussed in this paper are:
During construction, special emphasis was given to the inspection of the processes of production,
transportation, delivering, placement, compaction and curing of the RCC.
Andrew Evans, Michael Cawood, Jonathon Reid
Eildon Dam, Goulburn Weir and Waranga Basin in Victoria are owned and managed by Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW). Eildon Dam and Goulburn Weir are situated on the Goulburn River, while Waranga Basin is an offstream storage supplied from Goulburn Weir.
In November 2004 a dam safety emergency exercise involving the establishment of a central Emergency Coordination Centre at Tatura as well as Emergency Operations Centres at each of these three dam sites was conducted. The exercise presented a variety of emergency situations in stepped time increments, including earthquake, mechanical failure, a hazardous material spill and a terrorism related incident. External agencies were not involved.
The exercise was part of an ongoing G-MW program designed to test and improve dam safety emergency planning and response systems for all of G-MW’s dams and highlighted areas where procedures, situational management and communications can be enhanced.
Outcomes aimed for in G-MW’s program are improvement in Dam Safety Emergency Plans and internal communications, together with clarification of roles, responsibilities and capabilities.
The valuable experiences learned from this dam safety emergency exercise and plans for a larger scale exercise involving other emergency management agencies will be shared with others through this paper.
Basic pre-construction foundation investigations for the Ross River Dam were done in the late ‘60s to early ‘70s but a more detailed hydrogeological assessment was carried out to investigate and manage waterlogging and salinity, which developed immediately downstream in the late 1970s.
As part of the 2005 Stage 2 to 5 upgrade design, detailed conceptual and numerical hydrogeological modelling was required to predict aquifer response along the embankment and downstream. This required “data mining” and additional drilling and aquifer testing to fill in data gaps, with the filtered and re-interpreted data used to build a 3D conceptual model of the embankment and underlying geology, by a design team comprising specialist hydrogeologists, geologists, geotechnical and dams engineers. This was converted to a 10-layer, 2-million cell numerical model, to enable high-resolution modelling of groundwater behaviour for a range of aquifer properties, flood hydrographs and seepage management options. As well as a design tool, the model is a valuable monitoring tool in confirming the performance of seepage management systems and to provide early warning of seepage management failures.
The study emphasised the need to capture data for a wide range in aquifer stress, to have simple
preliminary spreadsheet models to provide a “sanity check” and to collect data away from the
embankment to allow a 3D interpretation of the geology, to the assumption of “layer cake” models.
P Maisano, M Taylor , M Barker and A Parsons
South Para Dam, completed in 1958, is located on the South Para River, 38 km north of Adelaide. The embankment is 45 m high and comprises compacted crushed phyllite with rockfill toes. The 13 m high rock fill toes are protected with three-stage filters but the remaining 32 m of embankment height has no downstream filter protection.
The South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water), the owner and operator of the dam, is considering modifications to the dam, to augment its flood mitigation role. The proposed works, while not affecting the full supply level, involve a modification to the spillway crest and raising of the embankment crest to accommodate increased flood levels. SA Water therefore commissioned a dam safety review to assess the need for any piping or overtopping protection that may be required. This was followed by concept designs to ensure that flood mitigation work is compatible with any required dam safety upgrade work.
The results of a detailed dam failure risk analysis using event trees showed that the Societal Risk for the existing dam needed to be reduced, and that the proposed spillway modifications increased the Societal Risk due to the increased risk of piping failure with higher flood levels.
The risk analysis showed that eliminating the overtopping modes of failure by raising the dam crest is not sufficient in itself to achieve the required reduction in risk. The provision of filter protection to reduce the risk of piping failure is required, but it was shown that it is not necessary to provide full height filters as the provision of filters only above full supply level would be sufficient to achieve the required reduction in risk.
The recommended upgrade works, in addition to the proposed spillway modification for flood mitigation purposes, consist of filter protection and a weighting fill above the top berm (4.4 m below FSL) to facilitate connection to a possible full height filter in the future, and a parapet wall to provide overtopping protection.The resulting cost saving compared with the installation of full height filters is in excess of $2 Million.